New Career Center Books

Here are the newest books in the Career Center Library. You may place a hold on any Career Center book through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website here.

If you’re looking to start your own business, you are in luck! We’ve recently received several new titles from the same series: the Start Your Own Business series by Entrepreneur Magazine. Each book in this series tackles a different type of entrepreneurial business. The books walk you through a step-by step process of creating your own business, and includes specialized, industry-specific information on such categories as: performing the day-to-day tasks of the business, creating a business plan, acquiring financing, marketing the business (including creating a website and using social media), and finding helpful resources.

Start Your Own Travel Hosting Business: AirBNB, VRBO, Homeaway, and More
by Jason R. Rich

Start Your Own Event Planning Business
by Cheryl Kimball


Start Your Own Information Marketing Business
by Robert Skrob

Start Your Own Personal Training Business
by Cheryl Kimball

Start Your Own Transportation Service: Taxi, Limousine, Rideshare, Trucking, Specialty, or Medical
by Cheryl Kimball

Written by Lynnette Lee

Book Review: Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People

“Hi, I’m Vanessa, and I’m a recovering awkward person” is the first sentence of Van Edward’s book Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People. It is aptly dedicated to “anyone who has ever felt awkward in a social situation.” In other words, it’s written for most people. While not everybody will transform into a social butterfly after reading the book, the good news is that there are certain tricks, or hacks as Van Edwards calls them,  that everyone can learn to improve their social interactions.

Since people skills didn’t come naturally to her, Van Edwards decided to study and learn them just like math problems. She became so good at it that she made studying people her business and is now a requested teacher, writer, and speaker on the topic who has been featured on all major TV networks. Van Edwards also created the website Science of People.

She calls her approach human behavior hacking, which her company achieves by rigorous analysis of the latest scientific studies, creating actionable strategies and putting them to the test in her lab. The book is a synopsis of the company’s last eight years of research, which is supposed to illuminate “how people work.” According to Van Edwards there are hidden rules to human behavior that can be decoded and then be used to your advantage. She introduces the reader to 14 techniques or hacks to analyze and improve interpersonal relations. These hacks are worked into three parts of the book:

  1. The first five minutes
  2. The first five hours
  3. The first five days.

The first five minutes

The first part is all about the power of first impressions, how to read them, and how to make a good first  impression oneself. The author explains how social interactions work and what makes people likable. She introduces the first four hacks in this chapter, which give valuable and actionable input on how to best work a room at a social function, start interesting and memorable conversations, and form more lasting relationships.

The first five hours

As the title suggests, this chapter represents the next step in a relationship — taking it from first impressions and introductions to a deeper level. The reader is introduced to techniques for decoding and reading people and how to customize interactions accordingly. A large part of this chapter is dedicated to reading facial microexpressions. Microexpressions and theories behind them are well explained, but being able to decode them quickly in a conversation takes a lot more practice than just reading about them. Van Edwards offers more in depth practice and classes on her website, and readers who want to be able to actually use those decoding skills will have to invest more time and money to carefully study and practice what’s presented in the book.

For Van Edwards, the next step in establishing a lasting productive relationship is to decode peoples’ personalities, your own as well as others’. Her go-to tool for this is the five-factor-model, which she then introduces in detail and explains how it can be used to improve relationships with the people around us. Again, she presents valuable information, but in order to use the tool effectively the reader will have to put in a good bit of practice first.

The last part of this chapter deals with appreciation and value. According to Van Edwards, we will form the most meaningful relationships when we know how the people around us like to be appreciated and what their core values are. Along with the five-factor model, she presents techniques on how to do so. This is very insightful and falls into the category “easy takeaway” because some of the information presented in this part can be directly applied to real life situations.

The first five days

In this final part, Van Edwards wants to teach the reader how to level up their relationships and make them more meaningful. Meaningful relationships are formed around a good connection between people. An important tool for establishing connection is storytelling. Van Edwards proceeds to explain why storytelling is so important to connection and how to do it effectively. Again, this chapter represents an easy takeaway: Real life tips and tools the reader can adapt and use.

From forming connections, Van Edwards moves to empowering and leading people. The leadership “hacks” presented here are widely applicable, beyond people in formal leadership positions. They can be used by everybody and in everyday situations. Another hack to forming connection is to admit vulnerability. Admitting not knowing and asking for advice makes people more likeable according to the author.

Last but not least, Van Edwards presents her research on how to deal with difficult people. She presents tools on how to interact with frustrated and hurt individuals and steer the conversation back to a less emotional level. This part represents another quick takeaway for the reader.

Overall this is an interesting, engaging, and easy-to-read book with a wealth of information about interpersonal relations. After reading the book and using the tools, the reader will be much better equipped to handle interpersonal communication and relationships. However, some of the techniques presented in the book require careful study and practice. While most readers will walk away with good information and a couple of quick takeaways, interested readers can use the materials at Science of People (most of them are online courses available for a fee) to really deepen their understanding of human relationships and take them to the next level.

Written by Anne Nowak.

New Career Center Books

This month, we got in some fantastic books about Women and the Workplace. You may place a hold on any Career Center book through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make that Sabotage Their Careers
by Lois P. Frankel, PhD

Although things have come a long way toward gender equality in the workplace within the past 50 years, there is still a sharp imbalance at the very top: only 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs are female. In this updated edition to her New York Times bestseller, executive coach Lois Frankel examines the reasons women have such difficulty reaching the top levels of their careers. She discusses a distinctive set of behaviors which women learn in girlhood that ultimately sabotage their career growth, and offers suggestions for how to be less of a “nice girl” and more of a confident professional.

How Exceptional Black Women Lead: Unlocking the Secrets to Phenomenal Success in Career and in Life
by Avis A. Jones-Deweever, PhD

Black women can face unique challenges in the workplace, being discriminated against on two fronts. For this reason, it can be difficult for many black women to aspire to career success as leaders in their fields. Yet there is reason to take heart. This book contains perspectives and advice from 70 exceptional black women leaders across diverse industries. These stories, combined with research data, offer strategies, techniques, and inspiration for black women seeking to rise to the top.

Rocking Your Role: The “How to” Guide to Success for Female Breadwinners
by Jenny Garrett

Female breadwinners can face a bit of a quandary when it comes to their families. Although it’s great to be successful, there’s a taboo on out-earning one’s husband. This book helps unpack everything that goes along with being a female breadwinner – the guilt, the resentment from the spouse, the judgment from the neighbors, the fear of being a bad mom, the exhaustion of trying to do it all – and offers ideas for coping and thriving.

Written by Lynnette Lee


New Career Center Books

This month, our list focuses on recent graduates, who may be starting to worry about the uncertain road ahead. Not to fear, the Career Center can help! Try one of these titles. You may place a hold on any Career Center book through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

How to Get Money for College
by Peterson’s Educational Publishing

This enormous book aims to help you navigate the labyrinth of college financial aid. It is a compendium of information about financial aid at US universities. It includes detailed profiles on hundreds of schools’ financial aid opportunities, a state-by-state listing of public scholarship and grant programs, and a quick reference chart to help you compare your options.

Better than College: How to Build a Successful Life without a Four-Year Degree
by Blake Bolles

Have you ever thought that college may not be the best fit for you? Are you afraid that without a college degree, you won’t be able to have a successful career? This book questions much of the conventional wisdom about the necessity of a college degree. It suggests different ways of gaining marketable knowledge and skills, with example success stories, self-assessments, and ideas for ways to get started.

101 Weird Ways to Make Money: Cricket Farming, Repossessing Cars, and Other Jobs with Big Upside and Not Much Competition
by Steve Gillman

You’re done with school, but not sure what to do in the real world? Not crazy about the idea of working in an office? Try this list of unconventional jobs which were almost certainly not options on the career tests you took in high school. The book is divided into subsections based on the type of work (Working Outdoors, Internet Opportunities, etc.), and each job listing includes a description of the work, information about pay, and resources to find out more and get started in the field. The options include everything from Rodeo Clown to Chimney Sweep to Overseas English Teacher.

Written by Lynnette Lee

Book Review: The Crossroads of Should and Must

Books about how to find your passion seem to be a dime a dozen these days. The Crossroads of Should and Must, Find and Follow your Passion by Elle Luna is worth picking out of the crowd. It’s a quick and easy read, and yet it contains enough depth to make us think and reconsider options and choices. It is also a fun book to look at. Luna is a designer and painter and incorporates many colorful illustrations in the text.

The Crossroads

The book is divided into four short parts. The first one “The Crossroads” describes her central theme: “There are two paths in life: Should and Must. We arrive at this crossroads over and over again. And every day, we get to choose.”

She argues “should” is the conventional way — how other people or society tell us we should live. “Must” comes from inside us: it is who we are and what we like, our authentic self. Needless to say, Luna advocates for following our “must” and not the “should”, admitting that “must” is the much harder road to follow.

The Origin of Should

This part of the book explains how “should” is placed on us all the time. From childhood on, we grow up to conform to the standards of others. The “shoulds” we have internalized are often hard to decipher. Luna gives us pointers on how to recognize and overcome them.


This is the longest chapter of the book. Most people have no idea what their “must” is or what they were born to do. Luna describes exercises that the reader can use to discern their wishes and talents. None of the exercises are really new, but the way she describes and presents them are fresh and original.

This chapter also addresses the most common obstacles to people following their dreams or “musts.” These are, according to Luna, money, time, and space. Again, she outlines creative approaches to how to overcome those obstacles.

The Return

In the final part the author warns that the crossroads of “should” and “must” will be met over and over again. This is not a one- time occurrence. How to deal with the repeating pattern of decisions is addressed in this chapter. It is inspirational and encourages the reader to keep going.

Overall this book is worth reading because of Luna’s fresh and easy writing and presentation style as well as the practical and easy-to-use exercises and applications she presents. If you want a fresh, quick inspirational book that will make you think, this might just be the one.

Written by Anne Nowak.

New Career Center Books

You may place a hold on any Career Center book through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.


Modernize Your Resume and Modernize Your Job Search Letters
by Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark

An enormous amount of the job search involves written communication. These two books serve as companion pieces to help jobseekers with all job-search-related letters and correspondence. Modernize Your Resume offers resume-writing strategies, a variety of formatting choices, and more than eighty examples of resumes.  Modernize Your Job Search Letters contains helpful advice and examples for: cover letters, thank-you letters, networking letters, e-notes, and letter for unique job search challenges. Both authors are Master Resume Writers and Credentialed Career Managers.

The Ex-Offender’s Re-Entry Assistance Directory
by Ronald L. Krannich, Ph.D.

The transition from incarceration back into mainstream society is often arduous and overwhelming. This book aims to help ex-offenders get back on their feet and navigate the difficult barriers they face. The directory is jam-packed with information about key government agencies, nonprofit groups, and faith-based organizations focused on assisting ex-offenders with re-entry. The directory offers resources for employment help, but also for a variety of other issues that may affect a jobseeker’s chances, including housing, transportation, substance abuse, education, mental health, finances, clothing, and tattoo removal. The book contains detailed breakdowns of programs available in every state, as well as information on helpful nationwide and online resources. Author Ron Krannich has written dozens of career guidance books, many of which focus on ex-offenders.

When Talent Isn’t Enough: Business Basics for the Creatively Inclined
by Kristen Fischer

Creative professionals (such as artists, designers, writers, etc.) often work freelance, as independent contractors, or as entrepreneurs. Many of these struggle to earn a living, in spite of their valuable talents, because of a lack of business acumen. This book seeks to give creative professionals the business savvy to make themselves successful as freelancers and entrepreneurs. Subjects include: marketing, self-promotion, legalities, bookkeeping, challenging client situations, and cultivating client relationships.

Written by Lynnette Lee


Book Review: Grit

Growing up, Angela Duckworth and her siblings were repeatedly told by their father that they were no geniuses. In third grade, Duckworth didn’t qualify for the gifted and talented programs at school, seemingly proving her father’s point. How poignant then that in 2013 she won a MacArthur Genius Grant for her studies on grit and perseverance. She is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and Grit, The Power of Passion and Perseverance is a summary of the studies conducted by Duckworth and her colleagues into the topic.

The major outcome of her studies is that innate talent and IQ matter much less in determining and predicting success and accomplishment than grit. Grit is defined as a combination of passion and perseverance. Two of Duckworth’s larger quantitative studies were conducted with West Point cadets and participants in the National Spelling Bee, environments known for talented, intelligent, and gritty individuals.

Duckworth concludes that there are four necessary components of grit:

  1. Interest
  2. Capacity to practice
  3. Purpose
  4. Hope, defined as a “rising-to- the-occasion kind of perseverance”

The book is divided into three parts: the first is about what grit is and why it matters; the second is about how to foster and nurture grit from within; and the third is about how to encourage grit from the outside.

What grit is and why it matters

This chapter outlines Duckworth’s studies at West Point and the National Spelling Bee. She argues that the discussion about what determined success is still too dominated by a focus on innate talent and that most people are blinded by “naturals.” We seem to prefer people with natural talent. This, however, is to our detriment, since her studies have shown that perseverance coupled with passion is a much better predictor of success and accomplishment. Duckworth says: “I will argue that, as much as talent counts, effort counts twice.”

Growing grit from the inside out

This is probably the most important part of the book. It explains how we can all become more persevering and nurture our grit. Duckworth goes into the details of the four components of grit as outlined above.

First, there has to be interest. Most people will not know their particular field of interest right away. It takes some time and experimenting until most of us hit upon the things we are so passionate or excited about that we are willing to invest time and effort to hone our skills.

Second, there needs to be a lot of practice. What the grit paragons in Duckworth’s studies have in common was that they all wanted to continuously improve their skills. But efficient practice does not just mean logging hours. Effective practice needs to be deliberate, and deliberate practice is defined as:

  • A clearly defined stretch goal
  • Full concentration and effort
  • Immediate and informative feedback
  • Repetition with reflection and refinement

Third, there needs to be purpose. Having purpose is energizing and engaging. Studies have shown that high school students who saw how their studying and school work could make a difference later on study more and with better outcomes than those who don’t see how they could make a difference. The same holds true for employees. Those who perceive making a difference in people’s lives and having a purpose perform better and are happier in their jobs than employees who don’t see themselves connected to the greater good.

Last but not least, there needs to be hope, defined as a “rising-to- the-occasion kind of perseverance.” Psychologists have found that a feeling of control is the key element in hope. Studies have shown that it is not suffering itself that leads to hopelessness but suffering we think we can’t control. People scoring high on grit tend to explain events optimistically. They have a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. Duckworth writes: “The reality is that most people have an inner fixed mindset pessimist in them right alongside their inner growth mindset optimist.” Optimists search for temporary, specific, and thus fixable causes of their suffering. Pessimists, however, see permanent and pervasive, thus not fixable, causes as the root of their suffering. The more we can foster a more optimistic mindset, the grittier we will become.

Growing grit from the outside in

This part discusses how grit can be fostered from the outside, such as parenting for grit and creating a culture of grit in organizations. Most space and time is devoted to raising gritty kids and adolescents. One of the most interesting study outcomes described here is the fact that participating in extracurricular activities in high school for at least two years is a better predictor of college and academic success than SAT scores or grades. Duckworth concludes that sticking with an extracurricular activity for at least two years shows follow-through, which requires, as well as builds, grit.

Overall this is an interesting read, in which well researched social science meets life skills. The studies and outcomes are easy to understand, and their conclusions and recommendations have direct impact on people’s daily lives.

Written by Anne Nowak.

New Career Center Books

You may place a hold on any Career Center book through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

What Color Is Your Parachute? For Teens: Discovering Yourself, Defining Your Future
by Richard N. Bolles, Carol Christen, and M. Jean Blomquist

The What Color Is Your Parachute? series represents the gold standard of career planning, helping generations of job seekers to discover their passions and find their dream careers. In this edition, the authors focus on assisting teenagers with answering the all-important question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” The guide includes assessments, career information, and expert job search tips, focused exclusively on the teenage perspective.

Libraries in the Information Age: An Introduction and Career Exploration
by Denise K. Fourie and Nancy E. Loe

This book is an excellent resource for anyone who is considering a library career. It contains detailed information on the various types of libraries and library-related careers, the day-to-day duties of library jobs, the changing role technology plays in library research, and job search tips.

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
by Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, has long been a symbol of success. But when her exhaustion landed her in the hospital, she began to wonder if her success were costing her too much. After extensive research, Huffington determined that our definition of success needs to change — that, in addition to power and money, we need a Third Metric to determine a person’ success. This Third Metric relates to our personal well-being. This self-help book combines personal anecdotes, scientific studies on psychology and physiology, and recommended techniques and exercises for reducing stress and balancing priorities. Its goal is to help everyone become more successful — in the sense of being well-rounded, happy, healthy, and not a slave to one’s career.

Written by Lynnette Lee

Book Review: In the Company of Women

In the Company of Women

Grace Bonney, founder of Design*Sponge, opens her introduction with a quote by activist Marian Wright Edelman, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Representation matters, and this is the impetus behind the creation of Bonney’s collection of interviews, In the Company of Women. As an entrepreneur herself, Bonney wanted to create a book depicting role models to inspire all women on their own professional journeys. The makers, artists, and entrepreneurs interviewed include women of color, women from the LGBT community, and differently abled women — communities that are often underrepresented — who are running their own businesses.

Each woman’s story is unique, but they are connected in their passion, dedication, and determination. Some of the life and business lessons shared here are similar, but ultimately they demonstrate that there are many paths possible in pursuing your dream as long as you continue to learn and adapt.

In the Company of Women is available from the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, and below is a sampling of the interviews.

Danielle Colding: Interior Designer, Brooklyn, NY

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting out?

To make sure to hire professionals to do the things you are not good at or knowledgeable about. The key takeaway was that you don’t have to be able to do everything on your own. Look to the experts when you need to.

Amalia Mesa-Bains: Artist, Curator, Author, San Juan Bautista, CA

What does success mean to you?

When I was younger, I thought success was about big, prestigious exhibitions. But as the years have passed, I feel even more successful when my work, both art and writing, is valuable to a younger generation, a legacy of sorts.

Roxanne Gay: Writer, Professor, West Lafayette, Indiana

What characteristic do you most admire in other creative women?

I admire their tenacity, their capacity for creating beauty and the unexpected forms that beauty takes.

Matika Wilbur: Photographer, Seattle, WA

If you were given $100 million, would you run your business any differently? How so?

Yes, I’d hire “superpeople.” We’d work in education, media, and music, and I’d create a fun, get-things-done professional and business network, like a consortium to celebrate Native artistic and intellectual talent. (There’s so much out there!) And I’d support important battles and challenges that my people, especially Native children and women, are up against.

Veronica Corzo-Duchardt: Graphic Designer, Artist, Philadelphia, PA

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?

When I’m doubting myself or having a hard time, I turn to my wife and a few close friends. It’s really important to surround yourself with people who are supportive. They usually help me put things into perspective. And at the very least, they’ll make me a strong whiskey cocktail and tell me how awesome I am, which doesn’t hurt.

Natalie Chanin: Fashion Designer, Florence, AL

Name a fear or professional challenge that keeps you up at night.

Cash flow. Cash flow. Cash flow. It is a good thing that many businesses are started by the young because older, more financially savvy people might never make the leap. I always advise those who want to start their own businesses to learn as much as possible about accounting, saving, and investing. Many families count on me and on the business I created to put food on their tables. That is not a responsibility I take lightly.

Carla Hall: Chef, Television Host, Washington, D.C.

What’s the hardest thing about being your own boss that isn’t obvious?

The lack of an employee annual review. There are times when I would welcome a report card from a third party.

Ayumi Horie: Potter, Portland, ME

Name the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running a business.

The lesson I’ve learned over and over is not to compromise on quality. Even though it might take twice as long to attend to all the tiny details necessary to make something shipshape, it’s worth the effort.

Mary Verdi-Fletcher: Dancer, Choreographer, Cleveland, OH

What did you want to be when you were a child?

I wanted to be a dancer and follow in my mother’s footsteps for as long as I can remember. I believe I was three years old when I started telling people that I wanted to be a dancer even though I was in a wheelchair.

Written by Anne Nowak

New Career Center Books

If you’re looking to start your own business, you are in luck! We have recently received several new titles from the How to Start a Home-Based Business series from Globe Pequot Press. Each book in this series tackles a different type of home-based business. The books break down the process of starting a new business, including the following aspects: how to offer a quality product in your specific field, writing a business plan, pricing your products or services, marketing your business, financial planning, and legalities.

You may place a hold on any Career Center book through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

How to Start a Home-based Bookkeeping Business

How to Start a Home-Based Bookkeeping Business
by Michelle Long

How to Start a Home-based Handyman Business

How to Start a Home-Based Handyman Business
by Terry Meany

How to Start a Home-based Etsy Business

How to Start a Home-Based Etsy Business
by Gina Luker

How to Start a Home-based Fashion Design Business

How to Start a Home-Based Fashion Design Business
by Angela Wolf

How to Start a Home-based Catering Business

How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business
by Denise Vivaldo

How to Start a Home-based Professional Organizing Business

How to Start a Home-Based Professional Organizing Business
by Dawn Noble

Written by Lynnette Lee